North Adams Inauguration Event Set for New Year's Day

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city of North Adams will begin the new year with a new City Council and new mayor. 
 
The organization of government will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday in City Council Chambers at City Hall. It will include the swearing in of the mayor, city councilors and school committee members. 
 
Thomas Bernard will give his inaugural speech as he begins his term as the city's new mayor. Bernard was elected in November to succeed Richard Alcombright, who decided not to run for a fifth term. 
 
Also being sworn in will be returning Councilors Keith Bona, Eric Buddington, Benjamin Lamb, Joshua Moran and Wayne Wilkinson and newcomers Rebbecca Cohen, Marie T. Harpin, Paul Hopkins and Jason LaForest.
 
Bona is expected to elected as the new president of the council, the first time that he has stepped into the top spot. He served for eight years on the council in the 1990s and returned in 2007, winning four more two-year terms.
 
"I'm looking forward to taking on the next year," he said. "I've been on the council for 16 years and now it's time for me to step up and try."
 
City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau will lead off the ceremony, which is largely focused on electing new council officers and assigning seats and committees. She will also swear in the newly elected officials. 
 
Rabbi Rachel Barenblatt of Congregation Beth Israel will give the inaugural invocation and the Rev. William Cyr of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church will give the benediction. 
 
The council will be sworn in first, followed by nominations and election of the president; the president will then take over the election for vice president, present the rules of order for the next year and announce the committee and liaison assignments. 
 
Gomeau will give the oaths of office to newly elected School Committee members Ian D. Bergeron, Heather Putnam Boulger and James C. Holmes. Of those three, only Boulger is a returning member. Returning McCann School Committee members Paul A. Gigliotti and Gary F. Rivers will be sworn in.
 
The president of the council will ask two councilors, expected to be two of the newly elected councilors, to receive the mayor-elect. Gomeau will swear him and Bernard will give his address. 
 
A reception will follow the ceremony at City Hall. Seats will be set up in the lobby with a livestream and Northern Berkshire Community Television will be broadcasting the event live. 

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